WNC Pottery Fest, One of South's Top Arts Events, is Nov. 1
DILLSBORO, N.C. –
The Western North Carolina Pottery Festival celebrates its 10th year this November with a special recognition.
The festival, which takes place Saturday, Nov. 1, has been named one of the Southeast's top 20 arts events for November by the Southeast Tourism Society.The festival earned such recognition by evolving from humble beginnings into a popular event that attracts thousands to the walkabout village of Dillsboro the first Saturday in November.
"What we have is an intimate show featuring more than 40 master potters from all over the Eastern United States," says festival organizer Brant Barnes of Dillsboro's Riverwood Pottery. "I would characterize it as an art show, although it is pottery. We have a lot of individual artists who are more focused on the artistic pursuit than the traditional, functional pursuit."
Each year the festival showcases a featured potter. But for the 10th year, organizers decided to feature two potters – Richard Aerni of Rochester, NY, and Nick Joerling of Penland, NC.
Aerni and Joerling will demonstrate their techniques throughout the day, along with several other exhibiting potters.
Aerni, a 25-year veteran clay artist, has taught ceramics at Nazareth College in Rochester; the School of American Crafts in Rochester; and Arrowmont School of Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tenn. He's been featured in dozens of national magazines, including Ceramics Monthly and Studio Pottery Magazine.
Joerling has maintained his studio in Penland, since the mid 1980s. He holds a master of fine arts in ceramics from Louisiana State University and has taught in craft programs in the United States and abroad. His work can be found in numerous public and private
Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. All attendees receive a ticket for a day-long raffle, while a silent auction benefits a local charity that provides meals to families.
For those wishing to make a weekend of it, a preliminary event takes place Friday. The sixth annual WNC Clay Olympics competition runs from 1-5 p.m. It pits 20 potters against one another to see who can make the largest cylinder, widest bowl, etc.
Admission to Saturday’s festival $5 per person, with children under 12 admitted free.
For festival info, call (828) 631-5100, or visit: www.wncpotteryfestival.com
From US Highway 441/23, drive into Dillsboro via Haywood Road, take your first, second or third right. Each road runs into "Front Street." By now, you'll see the festival and crowd. Enjoy!